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Powder Burn Paperback – Jun 30 1998


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Powder Burn + A Death in China + Trap Line
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 30 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375700684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375700682
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #351,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Library Journal

Published in 1984, 1981, and 1982, respectively, these novels feature action, intrigue, violence, and murder. In the Hitchcock vein, they also portray protagonists who are just ordinary people?a professor, an architect, and a fishing-boat captain?who are dragged into extraordinary circumstances. LJ's reviewer found Death in China "tautly written," adding that Montalbano and Hiaasen have a "fine flair for characters and settings" (LJ 4/1/84).
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

"An explosive read . . . authentic, compelling and frightening." --Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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By A Customer on Jan. 23 1998
Format: Paperback
After having enjoyed other books by Carl Hiaasen, I had certain expectations about this book. I was not disappointed, but Powder Burn is not in the same league as Tourist Season, Doubble Whammy, Skin Tight, Striptease and Stormy Weather. But it was interesting to note the similarities between this book and the later ones mentioned above. It is the cuban cop, journalists playing a part, the plot taking place in Florida (Miami) and the focus of a theme that, I belive, the authors feel is a threat to the Florida region. This time it is drug war and dopers, in the other novels it is the disadvantages of tourism, the destroying of nature, the search for beauty by operations and corruptions among politicians. One major difference is that the main character in this book, an architect named Chris Meadows, is not the tough hero type, but rather a more human hero driven by fear. So if you are a fan of Carl Hiaasen, you should read Powder Burn. On the other hand if you are not a fan, you might find the book a bit ordinary.
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Format: Paperback
A shadowy figure with immense power and money decides to take over the cocaine trade in Miami. It requires, of course, killing his rivals. Chris Meadows, a young, Miami architect, is only dimly aware of the drug trade until an old girlfriend and her child are accidentally killed before his eyes by hitmen. Worse, he can identify the killers, so he becomes their target. When a police detective seems more interested in using Chris for bait to catch the killers than in protecting him, Chris decides that he is on his own. His terrified twists and turns to evade the killers take him through the deadly world of Miami's drug scene. Hiaasen and Montalbano, writers for the Miami Herald, put an authentic edge on a Miami that tourists don't see. This is not the Hiaasen who writes biting humor about Florida's developers and politicians. This is the Hiaasen who gives us a thriller steeped in Miami. The story will keep you reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 115 reviews
90 of 94 people found the following review helpful
Powder Burn, rewiewed by Geir Elseth Jan. 23 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After having enjoyed other books by Carl Hiaasen, I had certain expectations about this book. I was not disappointed, but Powder Burn is not in the same league as Tourist Season, Doubble Whammy, Skin Tight, Striptease and Stormy Weather. But it was interesting to note the similarities between this book and the later ones mentioned above. It is the cuban cop, journalists playing a part, the plot taking place in Florida (Miami) and the focus of a theme that, I belive, the authors feel is a threat to the Florida region. This time it is drug war and dopers, in the other novels it is the disadvantages of tourism, the destroying of nature, the search for beauty by operations and corruptions among politicians. One major difference is that the main character in this book, an architect named Chris Meadows, is not the tough hero type, but rather a more human hero driven by fear. So if you are a fan of Carl Hiaasen, you should read Powder Burn. On the other hand if you are not a fan, you might find the book a bit ordinary.
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Drugs and Murder in Miami April 23 2001
By George Webster, Ph.D., - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A shadowy figure with immense power and money decides to take over the cocaine trade in Miami. It requires, of course, killing his rivals. Chris Meadows, a young, Miami architect, is only dimly aware of the drug trade until an old girlfriend and her child are accidentally killed before his eyes by hitmen. Worse, he can identify the killers, so he becomes their target. When a police detective seems more interested in using Chris for bait to catch the killers than in protecting him, Chris decides that he is on his own. His terrified twists and turns to evade the killers take him through the deadly world of Miami's drug scene. Hiaasen and Montalbano, writers for the Miami Herald, put an authentic edge on a Miami that tourists don't see. This is not the Hiaasen who writes biting humor about Florida's developers and politicians. This is the Hiaasen who gives us a thriller steeped in Miami. The story will keep you reading.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Disappointed Jan. 14 2011
By Polaris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a long time fan of Carl Hiassen and have read nearly all of his books, always eagerly looking forward to his next book. But for me, Powder Burn was a huge disappointment. I found the story line mundane and predictable. As always, however, his characters are original, clever and realistic. I'm not even sure why he wrote this book and it can only be described as ordinary. read it if you can't find anything else to read, but don't expect much and don't pay full price for it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In This Kindle Edition, Hiaasen Mails It In. . . Nov. 13 2012
By William E. Wallace - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In "Powder Burn," a Carl Hiaasen thriller that was originally released at the height of the "Miami Vice" drug revolution that convulsed Southern Florida in the 1980s, Chris Meadows is an architect who enjoys building things. He does, anyway, until the day he watches in horror as a former lover and her little girl are accidentally killed by a Cuban hit-man chasing a carful of cocaine dealers. At that point, Meadows decides that it's time to do a little demo work - on the hit-man's organization and boss.

What follows, however, is nearly 300 pages of "vacation reading" in the worst sense of the term: this revenge-fueled thriller only holds together if your brain goes on vacation for entire chapters at a time.

"Powder Burn" is one of Hiaasen's earlier books, apparently written before he had the confidence to unleash the outrageous sense of humor that brought us such memorable characters as Skink, the former Florida governor who now lives in the glades and subsists on roadkill, or Chemo, the scarred killer who loses a hand to a barracuda and has his stump fitted with a weed-whacker. There are moments of humor in "Powder Burn," but they are few and far between.

Instead, what Hiaasen and his co-author give us is a rather undistinguished suspense novel that largely turns on a series of rather unbelievable coincidences. If your basic Hiaasen is like Elmore Leonard on laughing gas, "Powder Burn" is more like Dutch on one of those days when he mails it in ("Stay Cool," "Road Dogs," "Djibouti," etc.). It is readable, but it isn't the sort of party a Hiaasen yarn normally offers.

The characters are uniformly flat: they include such tired standbys as the apparently bent Cuban-American narc, his by-the-book white-bread partner and a battalion of muy estupido drug henchmen who seem as faded and familiar as the décor in a Motel 6. Meadows' current squeeze Terry - an unlikely combination of bush pilot and fashion plate - serves as the sole Smurfette character. She plays such a marginal role in the action that she doesn't even get to be decently menaced by the bad guys.

Meadows, the hero of the piece, and his nemesis, Jose Bermudez -- a billionaire banker who schemes to split the drug business with his elderly Colombian counterpart, then eventually nudge the Colombian aside -- suffer the worst failing characters in a Hiaasen novel can have: they are boring.

We know the banker is evil because Hiaasen tells us he is; we know Meadows is heroic because . . . well, because he does a lot of really stupid things but survives anyway. Only a hero could get away with being such a doofus.

The one really original character in the entire novel is Meadows' occasional chess partner, Arthur Krim, and in him you can see traces of the kind of interesting and amusing people that populate Hiaasen's later - and much better -- tales.

If you are out of good Hiaasen - which I was when I picked this up - by all means give "Powder Burn" a look. Sure, it has an idiot plot, but the pace is rapid enough that you don't notice the gaping holes until you are done. In the meantime, it's a readable enough time-waster, all things considered.

But first-rate Hiaasen can be extraordinary, while there are lots of other hacks out there that can write just as good a thriller as "Powder Burn." So why not give your hard-earned money to one of them instead of the guy who is slumming? Rewarding the slacker would be the biggest burn of all.

Personally, I rate "Powder Burn" only three out of a possible five skulls.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not up to par July 2 2012
By Robert T. White - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this to be not up to par with Carl's other books. Not well scripted, nor logical in thought. Of his older books this ranks at or near the bottom.


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